Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Cloud Resource Scheduler?
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The cloud resource scheduler automates the process of enabling or disabling resources, ensuring that they are available when needed and minimizing cloud waste. CloudThrottle provides centralized control and visibility over resource schedules, allowing organizations to optimize costs and effectively manage their cloud resource uptime.

CloudThrottle supports scheduling at both the account level and the resource level within an account. If you intend to schedule all resources in a cloud account (CSP Supported), opt for account-level scheduling. However, if you have specific resources that require scheduling, choose resource-level scheduling.

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What are Charge Codes and Showback in CloudThrottle?
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In CloudThrottle, a Charge Code refers to a unique identifier or code used to track and allocate costs or expenses associated with specific activities, projects, or programs within a PPA (Program, Project, or Activity) framework. It is typically used to assign costs to different cost centers or initiatives, allowing for accurate financial tracking and budget management.

Showback is a practice of providing visibility and reporting of resource usage and associated costs to internal stakeholders or departments within an organization. It is a transparent process that demonstrates the consumption of resources and the resulting costs, without necessarily charging or billing those costs to individual departments or projects.

Further Explanation:

Program: A program is a collection of related projects that are managed together to achieve strategic objectives. Programs are typically broader in scope and longer in duration than individual projects. They often involve multiple interdependent projects working towards a common goal. Programs provide a higher level of management and coordination to ensure the successful delivery of the desired outcomes.

Project: A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined objective, specific deliverables, a defined timeline, and allocated resources. Projects are distinct and unique initiatives undertaken to create a desired result or outcome. They have clear boundaries, specific goals, and require coordinated effort to achieve the desired deliverables within the given constraints of time, cost, and scope.

Activity: An activity refers to the individual tasks or work packages that are necessary to complete a project or program. Activities are the smallest units of work within a project or program and are typically sequential or parallel in nature. They represent specific actions or steps required to achieve the project or program objectives.

The concept of categorizing initiatives as Programs, Projects, and Activities is widely recognized and applied in project management and budgeting practices to provide a structured framework for classification and management.

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What is Budget Modification?
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Budget Modification involves adjusting the allocated amount or budget period for a specific cloud account. This adjustment can include increasing or decreasing the budgeted amount or changing the duration of the budget period. The purpose of modifying the budget is to accommodate changes in project requirements, unexpected circumstances, or shifts in organizational priorities. By making these adjustments, the budget remains aligned with the project's needs and enables effective financial management throughout its lifecycle. Regularly updating the budget ensures it reflects the most current project status, resource needs, and financial goals, allowing for better planning, execution, and control of financial resources.

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What are Budget Override and Additional Funds?
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Budget Overrides and Additional Funds play pivotal roles in budget management, empowering organizations to adapt to changing circumstances, address unexpected needs, and pursue strategic initiatives that surpass initial budget constraints. However, exercising proper justification and accountability is crucial when employing budget overrides and accessing additional funds. This ensures fiscal discipline and efficient resource utilization and mitigates the risk of cloud waste. Properly managing budget overrides and additional funds involves a thorough review process, clear documentation of the reasons for the adjustments, and regular monitoring to track the impact on the overall budget. By maintaining a structured approach to these financial adjustments, organizations can achieve their objectives while maintaining control over their budgets, ultimately supporting sustainable growth and operational effectiveness.

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What are Soft Caps and Hard Caps?
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Soft Caps and Hard Caps are concepts associated with budget thresholds, representing different levels of limits or boundaries within budget management.

Soft Caps: A soft cap is a threshold that indicates a warning level or guideline within the budget. When the budget reaches or exceeds the soft cap, it signals that closer attention and monitoring are required. It prompts stakeholders to review spending patterns, reassess resource allocation, and take proactive measures to prevent further deviations or potential budget overruns. Soft caps provide flexibility for adjustments and proactive management.

Hard Caps: On the other hand, a hard cap represents a strict limit or boundary that must not be exceeded under any circumstances. It is an absolute maximum or ceiling on an allocated monthly budget. When the budget reaches or exceeds the hard cap, it triggers immediate actions, such as restricting spending on more cloud resources, implementing cost-saving measures, seeking approval to override preset percentage consumption on the monthly budget, or adding additional funding. Hard caps are put in place to enforce strict budgetary controls and prevent excessive spending or financial risks.

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What are Budget Triggers and Thresholds?
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Budget Triggers and Thresholds are essential components of effective financial management strategies. They serve as tools to monitor, evaluate, and control budgets within your organization. Budget triggers are predefined events or conditions that act as signals for initiating specific actions or interventions in the budgeting process. These triggers are typically tied to the percentage of the actual amount spent on the monthly allocated budget. When a budget trigger is activated based on the threshold set, it prompts stakeholders to review the situation, assess the impact on the budget, and take appropriate actions to maintain financial stability and alignment with organizational objectives. This proactive approach ensures that financial deviations are addressed promptly, preventing overspending and maintaining budgetary control.

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What is Budget Rollover
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Budget Rollover: CloudThrottle automatically rolls over any unused or unspent portion of a budget from one period to the next. Instead of resetting the budget to zero at the end of a specific time period, any remaining funds are carried forward and made available for use in subsequent periods. This ensures that the unutilized budget is not lost but can be allocated and utilized effectively. By allowing funds to roll over, organizations can maintain financial flexibility, better manage their resources, and ensure that budgetary constraints do not hinder ongoing or future projects. This approach promotes efficient use of financial resources and supports continuous operational planning.

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what is Budget Prorate?
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Budget Prorate: CloudThrottle automatically prorates at the beginning of budget creation and at the end of every month, allowing for accurate tracking and reporting of budgetary performance.

  • Automated Budget Prorate: Budget proration involves proportionally allocating a budget based on a specific time period. It is used when a budget does not align precisely with a standard period, such as a fiscal year or calendar month. The total budget amount is divided or adjusted to match the duration of the given time period. Budget proration allows for accurate tracking and reporting of budgetary performance within specific timeframes.
  • ~Example: If a budget is set for $120,000 for an 10-month period, the monthly budget proration would allocate $10,000 for each month.
  • This concept allows for more accurate tracking and reporting of budgetary performance within specific timeframes, providing a clearer picture of expenditures and enabling better decision-making.
  • Budget proration helps when there are changes or adjustments to the original budget during the course of a specific period. In such cases, the revised budget is prorated and allocated accordingly to reflect the updated financial plan.
  • By utilizing the budget prorate concept, organizations can ensure that financial resources are allocated and managed appropriately, facilitating better control and visibility over their budgetary processes.
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What is Base Budget?
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A Base Budget refers to the initial or foundational financial plan or allocation amount for a specific project on a Cloud account. It serves as the starting point for budgeting and acts as a benchmark against any changes or modifications. The base budget establishes the framework for financial planning and decision-making, offering a reference point for evaluating performance and identifying the need for adjustments or additional funding. By setting the base budget, organizations can ensure that there is a clear, structured financial plan in place from the outset. This enables effective tracking of expenditures, facilitates informed decision-making, and helps maintain financial discipline throughout the project's lifecycle. The base budget is crucial for aligning financial expectations, setting realistic goals, and allocating resources efficiently to achieve project objectives.

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What is Budget Override and Add Funds
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Budget Overrides and Additional Funds play pivotal roles in budget management, empowering organizations to adapt to changing circumstances and maintain financial flexibility. Budget overrides allow for adjustments to the initial budget, enabling organizations to allocate more resources when necessary, such as during unexpected needs or emergencies.

This flexibility ensures that projects can continue without financial hindrance. Adding funds, on the other hand, provides a way to inject additional financial resources into the budget, supporting strategic initiatives that go beyond the original budget constraints. These mechanisms are essential for addressing unforeseen expenses, seizing new opportunities, and ensuring the organization can respond dynamically to evolving financial requirements.

By incorporating budget overrides and additional funds, organizations can maintain financial control while being responsive to the dynamic nature of business operations.

Technology
Why is cloud cost management essential in modern cloud computing environments?
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Cloud cost management is crucial due to the potential inefficiencies of the 'Set-and-Forget' mentality. While it may be convenient, it can lead to significant issues such as resource overprovisioning, Idle, and underutilization resources. These issues often stem from a lack of active management that fails to adapt to fluctuating needs and the scalability features of cloud computing. The illusion of inexhaustible resources in cloud environments can further exacerbate the problem, leading to unchecked resource allocations and escalating costs. This misalignment of resource use with actual requirements can be costly. Moreover, developer-centric resource mismanagement can occur when developers prioritize creating user-friendly systems over cost efficiency.

These issues are amplified by a lack of FinOps practices, which are essential for holding developers accountable for the financial impacts of their decisions. This lack of accountability often leads to less emphasis on economical resource management.

Bridging the gap between resource use and cost responsibility is essential for achieving mindful and economical resource management. Therefore, effective cloud cost management, which involves monitoring, optimizing, and controlling expenses, helps organizations maximize the value of their cloud expenditures while minimizing unnecessary costs and avoiding cloud waste.

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What are the differences between cloud budget management and cloud budget observability?
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Cloud budget management and cloud budget observability, two sides of the same coin, are distinct but complementary aspects of managing cloud expenses. Both are essential for effective cloud spending control, with budget management providing the structure and discipline, and budget observability offering the insights and understanding.

Cloud budget management involves creating, overseeing, and maintaining a financial plan for cloud spending. It focuses on establishing budget limits, monitoring actual spending, making necessary adjustments, and ensuring expenditures align with the allocated budget. The primary goal of budget management is to control spending within predefined financial constraints and ensure financial discipline.

In contrast, cloud budget observability, a strategic advantage, refers to gaining comprehensive insights and visibility into clouds pending patterns and behaviors. It focuses on providing transparency and real-time visibility into how the budget is being consumed, identifying trends, and understanding cost drivers. This valuable tool equips finance managers with the information they need to make informed decisions and optimize budget usage.

Key activities in budget observability include using toolsand metrics to monitor and visualize cloud expenses, identifying anomalies, and providing actionable insights to optimize budget usage. While budget managementaims to stay within budget limits, budget observability aims to enhance understanding and visibility of cloud spending, enabling better decision-making and proactive cost management.

Budget management involves planning and controlling spending, whereas budget observability is about gaining insights and understanding spending patterns.

Technology
What are the differences between cloud budget management and cloud cost management, and what role does FinOps play in this context?
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Cloud budget management and cloud cost management are interconnected components of overseeing cloud expenses, with cloud budget management falling under the umbrella of cloud cost management. Cloud budget management focuses on establishing and supervising a financial plan that outlines the anticipated spending on cloud services over a specific/budgeted period. The goal is to ensure that expenditures align with the allocated budget. This involves setting budget limits (Thresholds), monitoring spending, making adjustments as necessary, and reporting to stakeholders. It serves as a fundamental method for controlling expenses within the designated budget.

Whereas cloud cost management encompasses not only budgeting but also monitoring, optimizing, and controlling cloud expenses to maximize value and minimize cloudwaste. This involves tracking cloud usage and costs, analyzing usage patterns to identify opportunities for cost savings, implementing strategies to enhance cost efficiency, and providing recommendations to stakeholders.

A critical element of cloud cost management is FinOps (Financial Operations), which focuses on introducing financial accountability to the variable-spendmodel of cloud computing. It involves close collaboration between finance, engineering, and business teams to manage cloud costs effectively.

Inessence, cloud budget management establishes the financial framework for effective cloud cost management, ensuring the optimal utilization of resources and overall financial efficiency.

Technology
What Is Cloud Cost Management?
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Cloud cost management involves monitoring, optimizing, and controlling the expenses incurred by an organization using cloud resources. This includes tracking cloud usage and spending to identify cost sources, analyzing usage patterns to find ways to save money, and implementing strategies to improve cost efficiency.

Cloud cost management is crucial in the era of cloud computing due to the rising costs from underutilized resources, the illusion of unlimited resources, and user-friendly cloud services targeted at developers.

It also involves setting and managing budgets to ensure spending aligns with financial plans and regularly updating stakeholders about cloud expenses and savings. Effective cloud cost management helps organizations get the most value from their cloud expenditures while minimizing unnecessary costs and avoiding cloud waste.

Technology
what is Budget management?
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Managing a budget involves overseeing and controlling an organization's financial resources to ensure that spending aligns with the planned budget. This process begins with creating a budget based on expected income and expenses, setting the financial framework for the organization. Consistently tracking actual spending against this budget is crucial to identify discrepancies and understand variations. Regular monitoring allows for timely adjustments to keep the budget on track and ensure financial discipline. Providing regular updates to stakeholders about expenditures ensures transparency and accountability. Monitoring the burn rate, or the speed at which funds are being used, helps anticipate future financial needs and make necessary changes. Effective budget management is essential for maintaining financial health, supporting strategic goals, and ensuring that resources are used efficiently and effectively.

Technology
What is cloud budget?
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A cloud budget is a financial plan that outlines an organization's expected spending on cloud services over a specific period, such as a fiscal year or the duration of a project. This budget encompasses various costs associated with cloud computing, including expenses for cloud infrastructure, software, storage, and other related services. It provides a structured approach to managing cloud expenditures, ensuring that spending aligns with the organization's financial plans and strategic goals. Additionally, the federal government includes labor costs associated with cloud infrastructure maintenance as part of the cloud budget, recognizing the importance of human resources in maintaining and optimizing cloud services. By planning and tracking these expenses, organizations can achieve better financial control, optimize their cloud investments, and ensure efficient use of resources.

Please Note: Some of the concepts, strategies, and technologies mentioned here are patented and patent-pending intellectual properties of CloudThrottle/Varcons.